Bret Baier: ‘It’s Not Our Job to Take Somebody Off a Stage With Tough Questions’

By Brian Flood 

Megyn Kelly will be there, so will Chris Wallace and Bret Baier, and most of the GOP candidates. The frontrunner, however, will not take part in the final GOP debate before the Iowa Caucus.

Before Donald Trump‘s decision last night to not take part in tomorrow night’s debate, we caught up with Baier for his thoughts on the prep this time around. “Because of the past back and forth, I’m sure people will be tuning in to see that first exchange,” Baier said, adding, “I don’t think it’s going to be what we saw last time.”

TVNewser: It seems a lot of viewers simply feel the GOP field is too crowded. With Iowa on the horizon, do you plan on asking any knockout questions in an attempt to trim down the field?


Baier: It’s not our job to take somebody off a stage with tough questions. It’s our job to kind of ask questions that, maybe get them off their talking points that you hear on the stump. It’s the voters’ job to determine who goes on and who stays in. We’re going to be tough. It won’t be easy, ‘what do you feel about your favorite color?’ But it’s not our job to do what you’re suggesting, knockout punches.

TVNewser: Has Roger Ailes given you any advice or told you to do anything different from the last debate?

Baier: No. I’m sure he’ll give us a pep talk as he did last time. We’ve been working for a number of weeks on questions and obviously we had to reshuffle after the FBN debate because of some of the questions asked there. So we’re still in study mode getting ready for Thursday.

TVNewser: What have you done differently to prepare for this debate and how much time has your preparation consumed?

Baier: We’ve had a lot of meetings and the thing about this debate is that there have now been several debates. Last time, we were the first. That was a different preparation. Now you have a history and a template of how these candidates have performed in debates and obviously the questions that they’ve been asked. So that’s a little bit different in this preparation. There is a huge binder of transcripts, every issue, every question for each candidate that we’ve been pouring over. We’ve had many, many meetings.

TVNewser: OK, enough about the debate. What non-news TV shows are you currently watching?

Baier: I don’t get to watch a ton of TV. My down time I spend with my family so I get roped into a couple of kid’s shows with my two boys. But, if I have my own time, I would say Morning Drive on The Golf Channel or the late night replay of some PGA tournament is my guilty pleasure.

TVNewser: Favorite restaurant and your exact order?

Baier: Cafe Milano in Georgetown. I’ll go with the branzino, usually with some carpaccio to start.

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